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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 21, 2006

Skorton Comments On Subcommittee's Appropriation Recommendation

University of Iowa President David Skorton issued the following statement today in response to the initial proposal for Regent university funding by the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee:

"The University of Iowa firmly supports the Partnership for Transformation and Excellence.  The Partnership is a four-year plan adopted by the Board of Regents last year to maintain the excellence of Iowa's public universities.  The plan calls for $40 million in new funding from the state each year, which would be matched by $20 million of reallocations by the universities.  Both measures are designed to moderate tuition increases and retain our best teachers and researchers.  Therefore, no one part of the funding process would bear a disproportionate burden.

"The initial proposal for funding from the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee is very disappointing.  It would provide only $6 million for the Partnership plan, enterprise-wide, with the University of Iowa's share totalling $2.475 million.  This sum would not be sufficient to cover unavoidable cost increases, such as increasing energy costs and state mandated salary increases of $4.8 million.  In addition, the University would find it very difficult to replace faculty and staff as they resign or retire, to offer the courses and services our students need, and to pay faculty competitive salaries.  Our efforts to retain the best faculty would falter, as would the externally funded research grants and contracts that bring new jobs and economic development opportunities to the state. 

"With full funding of the Partnership, Iowa's public universities will continue to be affordable and accessible for students. Full funding will allow the universities to recruit the best and brightest faculty and staff, whose teaching enables UI students to compete in the world marketplace and whose cutting-edge research helps to drive economic growth and cultural vitality in the state.

"We understand that the legislative budget process is a progression of steps. Prior to approval, the education budget bill will be debated by the House Appropriations Committee, the full House, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the full Senate before being submitted to the Governor for approval. We will continue to work with the Legislature and Governor during each step of the process to advocate for full funding of the Partnership. We encourage Iowans to contact their legislators and the Governor to communicate their support for Iowa's public universities."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Hogan, UI Executive Vice President and Provost, 319-335-3565, michael-hogan@uiowa.edu